Hip or belt mask

Physical Chareteristics
The hip and belt mask is part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the presumably 800-year-old Kingdom of Benin. The mask in the shape of a leopard head was worn on the left side of the belt by men of higher military rank. The Oba of Benin, as ruler of the populated world, compared himself to the leopard as the feared ruler of the wilderness. His image served the Oba as a mark of his invincible power. However, the king also lent leopard belt masks to particularly loyal Edo followers. The mask is characterized by its punched dots, its rivets, the obliquely arranged eyes, its leaf-shaped ears and its four protruding fangs. Small bells were attached to the bottom, three of which are still preserved today.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 21.5 x 13 x 6.5 cm